Thillai Kali Amman Temple, an important place to visit in Chidambaram has Goddess Kali as its presiding deity. The idol of the deity has four faces and is a magnificent sight to behold. The story behind this is that Goddess Parvathy became enraged after a debate with Lord Shiva concerning who was superior. She took on the form of Kali in a fit of rage. And as the legend goes, it was Lord Brahma's penance that finally cooled down the Goddess' anger.
Another name for Chidambaram is “Thillai”, derived after the Thillai trees that grow rampantly in the mangroves nearby. This is one reason why the word “Thillai” has been incorporated into the names of the temples in the area.